What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

First Friday Filmclub

Welcome to the final film club offering of 2022. Usually, around this time, I would have been preparing myself for the biennial visit to the Down Under Parts, but as you know, that hasn't happened now since 2019, with a couple of big events getting in the way. (I can scarcely credit that it is two years since dad passed...) 

Anyway, you'll recall that one of my mental escapes by way of compensation for not travelling myself is to travel by proxy, and I think I may have shared a Max & Occy clip with you before. Max, when not living the life, is an ambo (paramedic). He has been travelling all over OZ, with occasional dropouts to take up work, but mostly he has been able to stick to the road. This recent vid is sublime. The ultimate Aussie lifestyle; dog, van, surf, dolphins, turtles, more dogs... Why don't you come with me on this little escape too?

Menorcogitatus; Thinking Thursday

Crikey. December. After 63 years, you'd think I had worked out how that comes around so fast. Nope. I blinked and missed that particular instruction. 

I do know that I have to pull up my metaphorical socks somewhat. Having always been quite good at self-discipline in all matters, it has to be admitted that things have slipped a bit this year. For example, two hours each morning and at least another hour each afternoon were always reserved for writing. Be it poetry, short story, essay... whatever, I kept that discipline for years. When I was working, it used to be an hour before breakfast and then two hours after tea in the evening. Here at the Hutch, that became two hours after doing the blog rounds and as much time as possible in the arvo. Then the triple whammy of COVID, care of my father, and absence from the Hutch. Thin end of the wedge. 

When I returned full-time here, the first year, I regained some of that ... and perhaps I am being a little self-critical now. But I have also been less assiduous with other things that have been staples for keeping a routine and orderly life. Morning prayers still take place, but other spiritual practice has drifted. Housework: I always used to wash as I used in the kitchen - now I might wait till there are a few plates and pans before attending. Making it worth running the hot water is part of the background thinking. Or am I just getting slack? The same with dusting and vacuuming. Wiping down the bathroom...

Am I living in a hovel? No, of course not. These things are getting done, but not to the standard I once kept. And this is where I have to acknowledge that much of this 'fade away' is due to being within these four walls 24/7, 7/365. I had hoped this time last year to have been on wheels once more and getting 'oot and aboot.' Now I hope it will be by this time next year. 

A couple of weeks back, I recognised that all my deep-diving online is the way I can escape into the wider world. Can't do it physically just now, so do it mentally! Last week, Coby messaged me that she had taken on a few art courses to keep her focused during the Dunoon Winter Months (DuWM...😶) and that they were with "Domestika." I'd never heard of it. Of course, I had to follow that rabbit warren and, within two hours, found myself signing up! I took the Black Friday bundle they offered, which worked out at six quid a course. I am not an impulsive being, but here was something to help get some of that discipline back. I have never shopped BF before - but it really was a bargain! I have completed the first unit of two courses and look forward to getting the other three started. Once bought, the courses are available on one's account for 'infinity,' so it is possible to go back and refresh or remind oneself. (Want to take a gander for yourself? Click the image!)

What did I opt for? Well, the bundle permitted five choices, and four of mine are crochet. In each case, apart from learning different techniques and how to create patterns, there will be a completed item - a top-down garment, a mixed fibre jumper, a cardigan, and an amigurumi animal (Japanese crochet). The fifth on my list is short story writing from personal experiences. It is with the well-established author Shaun Levin

Now, all these courses are aimed at beginners - but I firmly believe that going back to basics is no bad thing to refresh and kickstart one's creativity. Moreover, there is always something to be learned, even at the starter level. Seeing things with fresh eyes. Also, there being forum participation built into the courses, it is possible to see what others are doing and obtain ideas. (And in case anyone is wondering, yes, I am beavering away on the LynGmal, which I hope to be able to report as complete by this time next week... Then I can get properly started on each of the courses.)

Yes, it is still online - but there will be actions required and to be ticked off. Measures taken. The YAMster needs to keep her mind and hands busy, for she is otherwise prone to mischief...

Oh, BTW, I thought this was worth the listen... 

Menoizikul; Midweek Musicalisms

Two years ago today, my father passed away. He it was who introduced me to the sounds of Chopin. I had been learning piano and was progressing through the exams in such a way I suspect he was harbouring ambitions greater than my own for me! Dad was selective, though. He tended only to favour Chopin's dances and was particularly fond of the mazurkas - those Polish triple-time pieces that vary from the waltz by being one-two-THREE, one-two-THREE. I never did learn any of these - but dad and I always enjoyed listening together. Here is one of the faves, played by an absolute legend... thanks for the memories, dad.